DA and IFP coalition is teetering
DA will abstain from vote of no-confidence against IFP mayor
THE FUTURE of the DA/ IFP coalitions hangs in the balance following a fallout between the two parties in Endumeni Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
“The DA can’t compromise on the principle of clean governance just because we want to save coalitions. The DA will never be in power for the sake of being in power,” said DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango.
This follows a motion of no-confidence tabled by the ANC against the municipality’s IFP mayor, Siboniso Mbatha, following allegations of corruption. The DA indicated it will abstain from voting on this matter.
The parties completed a co-operation agreement last year, which was expected to continue through to the 2019 elections. The DA and IFP co-operate in eight municipalities in the province.
KZN IFP leader Blessed Gwala dismissed the corruption claims, saying the DA had no reason to abstain from the no-confidence vote as the mayor was cleared in an investigation.
“I am warning the DA. If they continue to frustrate us in support of the ANC to ambush the IFP, they must know that the agreement of co-operation we have with them will suffer nationally,” Gwala said.
The motion of no confidence raised by the ANC alleges that:
Firstly, Mbatha made fraudulent claims in excess of R700 000, designed to deceive and defraud the municipality, when he claimed for an unauthorised trip using forged documents.
Secondly, he falsely created documents to collect donations of up to R10 000 for a cancer association, for a trip to England that allegedly never happened.
In the motion of no confidence papers, the ANC resolved that Mbatha be removed as mayor, alleging that his actions contained elements of “intent to defraud”.
But Gwala claimed the mayor had been vindicated in an investigation, saying the IFP had not been given further evidence to investigate.
“The mayor was accused of stealing and we asked the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to investigate – only to find that the allegations were lies,” he said.
Gwala blamed a disgruntled IFP member, who he said was being used by the ANC to spread lies about the mayor. However, Mncwango accused the IFP of refusing to table the report in council. He said the Speaker had been sitting on the report for two months without tabling it.
“The IFP expects the DA to support it, but these are strong allegations. The matter is not whether the mayor is guilty or not.
“The report must be tabled before council with recommendations based on findings,” Mncwango explained.
He added that the DA would not cave in to threats of destabilising coalitions.
“They expect us to go to council and support them, but on principle we can’t be fighting corruption in other municipalities and blindly support the IFP because they are threatening to pull out from other municipalities,” said Mncwango.
The mayor was accused of stealing